LA Rams OT Chandler Brewer arrived undrafted in 2019. But his importance in 2020 could be huge
The LA Rams roster is crowded with offensive linemen. After a 2019 season where injuries repeated downed offensive linemen, the LA Rams responded by adding offensive linemen midseason. Those additions, combined with players who were promoted from the practice squad, returned a significant number of players to the offensive line this year. Finally, the Rams re-signed all their free agents, giving the team a total of 13 returning offensive linemen this off-season. Where does that leave offensive lineman Chandler Brewer?
Well, we had just reviewed the status of LA Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth, and the unenviable position the Rams found themselves at the end of 2019. With no true heir apparent, and a banged-up bunch of bodies, sorting through the Rams shopping list had some fans shopping for five new starters this off-season, while other fans ended up seeking a solid starter or two out of the 2020 NFL Draft. The team had other ideas and simply emerged from the draft with right tackle Tremayne Anchrum as well as signing center Cohl Cabral after the draft.
Is Coach Kromer crazy?
Even with limited draft picks, and a long shopping list, the LA Rams did not invest heavily in offensive linemen in 2020. While we expected that response from the Rams, even we were surprised when the Rams did not address the backup left tackle position. From even our optimistic perspective, the LA Rams valued offensive line coach Aaron Kromer so well that even signing up offensive linemen in 2020 for 2021 roles was not out of the question. But to bank on players already on the roster seems to fit the description of “insanity is using the same inputs and expecting a different outcome”.
So where does that leave the LA Rams? Well, like it or not, the Rams are likely tapping either Joseph Noteboom or Chandler Brewer for the backup role at the all-too-important offensive left tackle position. While Noteboom is still recovering from a devastating injury from the 2019 season, Chandler Brewer is recovering from a different type of setback. If you recall, Brewer was emerging from successful chemotherapy in 2019. And with that behind him, the Rams and Brewer may be far more optimistic about his NFL career than previously reported.
Work ethic kicking in
Chandler Brewer is working with a clean bill of health now, a first since July 2018. He comes from a long line of blue-collar lineage, a roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-to-it mentality. That’s the attitude of never-say-die pioneers who felled trees, moved boulders, and built towns. The man who once had to face the life-or-death news of a rare blood disease followed the only route available to him and beat the odds.
Now, Chandler Brewer has a clear focus. He can now devote his attention to his football career, to becoming the best offensive lineman he can possibly be. Will that be enough to claim a roster spot with the LA Rams? Despite the redundancy and depth of the existing offensive line, the Rams will need a backup trained to handle the pressure at the left tackle position. Say what you want about Brewer’s on-field ability to block. But when it comes to the ability to handle the pressure? Brewer is the guy. He’s faced far more important matters than pass rushers and come out on top.